iOS app Android app More

Martin Varsavsky

GET UPDATES FROM Martin Varsavsky
 

Europe: United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Posted: 09/20/2012 8:38 am

Have you been reading about German chancellor Angela Merkel's rigidity in maintaining the single currency? Do you see how terrible the future looks not only for the periphery of Europe but for Germany as well? Is it clear that as we stand we are headed for the perfect storm?

Okay, let's move on to what I think Europe should do to get out of the crisis, which is basically to start the United States of Europe.

Consider this: it will cost Germany and all of Europe more if there is a widespread default, and if Spain and Italy leave the eurozone. So I think it's time for Europe to unite and risk inflation as the USA did before.

If you had to summarize the reaction of the Fed to the multi-trillion default of 2008, you'll find that the FED risked inflation and won. That the Fed stood there providing unlimited credit, and so did the Treasury. And that thanks to a gigantic state intervention, the U.S. banking system, car industry and many other industries, along with the economy as a whole, were saved. And there was no inflation. Europe needs to do the same now, but for that it needs to become the United States of Europe from a regulatory point of view. The other choice is the end of Europe, massive defaults and devaluations and possibly a tremendous shock to the global economy.

How does the EU become the United States of Europe?

1) Europe starts the European Treasury. An agency that regulates how all tax revenue is distributed, and can give or withhold government expenditures from EU member nations depending on revenue. Short of that, I don't see how the EU can prevent a country like Greece from meeting its deficit targets, for example. This European Treasury has to set 5-year objectives for all European nations to go into fiscal surplus to begin paying down European debt.

2) This European Treasury needs to consolidate all European debt into one debt pool regardless of nationality to eliminate risk spreads and with a credible deficit reduction package to bring down all euro interest rates to something slightly higher than Germany's rates today.

3) The European Central Bank needs to become the regulator of all European banks and offer deposit guarantees for all European banks to stop the massive South to North capital flight that is taking place. All European banks would subject to the same rules, regulators and bank deposit guarantees.

As I see it, the future of Europe is "United We Stand, Divided We Fall."

Do countries want to lose so much sovereignty? Probably not; they are established nations with great pride. But given the alternative, they should. As it is, Europe is a continent in which each country is married but it can mess around. That regime won't work. It's either Europe or divorce. Europe needs to unify a lot more as a result of this. One European traffic control, one European army, one European anything that is managed at the Federal level in USA. The USA has found a balance between cities, states and federal that Europe needs to emulate. Otherwise, the euro will not hold.

The enemy? Local powers. But if we were able to do away with tons of people who worked at European borders, European currency agencies we can do away with local patent offices, local traffic controllers, local air forces, local armies, local 100 other things, imagine how efficient we would be. How much better off. How much better prepared to compete globally.

 

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: www.twitter.com/martinvars

FOLLOW WORLDPOST